Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Welcome to our Home: The Nursery

It's official: I have a new favorite room in our home. This room was a true labor of love, one that took many months to pull together as I searched antique store after antique store, etsy shop after etsy shop, website after website, to pull together the nursery I envisioned as soon as I heard the words, "It's a boy!" so many months ago. 

The theme: a vintage, rustic nursery incorporating different woods and metals as well as a few "soft" elements so the room wouldn't feel too "hard." I knew I wanted grey walls and found the perfect shade in Benjamin Moore's Rockport Grey (although I had Lowe's mix it for me). For me, it's not too dark, not too light, but just right. 

So, without further adieu, our sweet Harrison's nursery: 

First, here's the view when you walk in the room. The lambskin rug is from Crate and Barrel and is one of the "soft" elements I wanted to include. Because I was able to re-use all of the furniture in the room from Banks' and Raleigh's old nurseries and did most decor shopping at antique stores (and thus saved some major cash!), I was able to splurge on a couple of items. The rug was one of them, although I still got a great deal on it as part of a awesome Black Friday sale.  

For MONTHS I searched for the perfect name piece to hang over the crib. I knew I wanted distressed pallet art with Harrison's name on it, and I finally found EXACTLY what I was looking for at an absolute steal of a price by Rustic Designs on etsy. This seller was awesome to work with and let me completely customize this piece, including the size, coloring, and font used. I just LOVE how it turned out!

Here's a close-up of the custom bedding I had made by my sister-in-law, owner of Goat & Lulu. I found the exact bedding I wanted, a grey and ivory vintage ticking stripe pattern, from RH Baby and Child many months ago but was just not willing to spend that kind of cash, especially with so much talent in my own family! Luckily, my sister-in-law was able to replicate the bedding exactly. It is amazing quality and even cuter in person!

To the left of the crib is an old, children's bookshelf that has been used in all three of my babies' nurseries. It used to be a brown wood but we painted it white for Banks' nursery years ago. I knew I wanted to fill it with vintage, boyish toy items and thus the search began across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia for the perfect antique pieces to line the shelves. 

Here's a close up of the top two shelves:

And the bottom two shelves:

Here is the view to the right of the crib:

In the corner, we have the same glider/recliner we used in Raleigh's nursery, which is a Best Chair by the Storytime furniture series. The beautiful fluffy sheep mat I placed atop it was given to us by a sweet friend at our baby shower. It is just the softest, sweetest thing! The metal basket next to the chair will be used to store burp cloths for late-night feedings. The grey pouf was another slight splurge, from Land of Nod, and I am so glad I made it! The glider/recliner + pouf combo = ultimate comfort. I foresee many a newborn snuggle happening here. 

And how GORGEOUS is this grey, handwoven throw my paternal aunt made for our little boy? I just love how it looks in the room, and it's sentimental value is immeasurable. 

Here is the view directly to the right of the chair. I am obsessed with the weathered wood floor lamp I found from Pottery Barn Teen. After months of searching for just the right floor lamp, I finally found this lamp, and it was 60% off, marked down to $99 from $250. For the win!

This is what adorns the top of the tall dresser. The "This Little Light of Mine" wooden sign is especially meaningful to me, as this is the song I chose to be "our song" (Harrison's and mine), and I love that it hangs on his wall. It was made by etsy seller Francis and Faith and is even better in person! The rest of the items were mainly antique finds, including the antique fan and old Hershey's car tin.

I also used an old Coke crate as extra decor shelving on top of the dresser, which houses four vintage books containing classic little boy stories (such as Tom Sawyer), an old race car that my dad and brother made together when my brother was a little boy, and a wooden slingshot, adorably made by etsy seller Tweet Toys

This is the view of the wall opposite the crib: 

I especially love the wooden growth chart we had custom-made by a local friend-of-a-friend, which hangs on the wall next to the closet door. It is an over-sized, wooden ruler that says "Our Growing Family" at the bottom, which we will use to keep track of all three kids growth and development over the years. I love the rustic touch it adds, along with the wooden hamper on the other side of the dresser, to that side of the room.

The changing station includes a cover that was custom-made by Goat and Lulu to match the bedding, as well as a metal basket to the right of it that holds diapers, wipes, creams, etc. 

Over the changing station is an antique metal shelf I found at a local antique mall. I hung handmade bunting in navy blue using twine and clothespins from the top and softened the overall "hard" feel of the shelf with a snuggly teddy bear. The shelf also contains another vintage "boy book" classic, a baseball glove, a wooden clipboard used as a frame (which currently holds an ultrasound picture but will soon hold a newborn shot), and vintage blocks spelling out "Harrison" for a little pop of color. 

Finally, here is the last view of the room, which shows the plantation shutters that take up most of the wall (thus, no need for curtains...score!). 

This is a metal hanging basket I got for a steal at a local maternity boutique that was going out of business. I think I got it for $10? I love a good deal! Again, I wanted to soften things up a bit and included neutral-colored stuffed animals, all of which were gathered from the stash we have accumulated over the years for Banks and Raleigh as well as a couple that were gifted to us for Harrison. 

And how precious is this little, blue vintage wagon I picked up from a local antique shop? It's the perfect place to store Harrison's blankets, including this one I had custom made from etsy seller, The Monogrammed Marketplace, that I adore! After I saw the blanket my friend Amy had made for her little girl, I couldn't wait to buy the same for our little fella. And I just love it! It is soooo soft, and I was able to choose the exact colors for the blanket, which says Harrison's full name all over it in different fonts.

So, there you have it: A special room for our special boy, one that I know will hold so many firsts, so many memories, so much love. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's A Boy!

I am over-the-moon ecstatic to finally share that Baby Lu is a BOY!!!!

Harrison Robert was born at 7:47 am on Friday, April 25th, weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long. He has a head full of blonde hair and came out alert and making his presence known to anyone within a 5-mile radius. ;)

He has done a phenomenal job with nursing so far and loves to be snuggled by his momma and watch Braves games with his daddy. 

Two of the most precious moments of my life came shortly after his delivery: 

With our families anxiously awaiting the news in the waiting room, my hub went out to tell Banks, first, that we had a boy so that he could then be the one to make the big announcement. My hub videotaped Banks' reaction to finding out he had a brother and his huge smile and excitement were absolutely priceless. 

The second moment I'll never forget is when my hub brought Banks and Raleigh back, alone, to meet Harrison for the first time. The second they walked in the room and Raleigh saw her little brother, she smiled from ear-to-ear and immediately started saying, "I love you! I love you!" My heart melted, and I became a puddle of love on the floor at that point. Both Banks and Raleigh couldn't wait to hold Harrison and my heart has never been happier.

Although he has been here just a few days, I can no longer imagine my life without my sweet Harrison, and I will certainly do my very best to treasure all of the last "first" moments I'll have with him, the little boy I've been waiting for my whole life to complete our family. 

Welcome to the world, my precious Harrison. We simply adore you. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My First Letter To Our Last Baby

Dear Baby Lu,

If you only knew how loved you are already, before you have even taken your first breath. You are an answered prayer, one I have dreamt of my entire life when I envisioned, and then prayed for, what my life would look like one day. Even during times of uncertainty and hardship, you were always there, a glimmer in my eye, a hope in my heart.

I remember so vividly when I was pregnant with your big brother, Banks. I was excited and scared and uncertain and naive and in love with the idea of being a Momma. I was so worried about making mistakes. And then he was born. And then my life found meaning.

I remember, clearly, my pregnancy with your big sister, Raleigh, too. I felt a sense of responsibility, being a role model to a little girl. And worried, so worried, that adding another baby to our family would be hard on Banks. Those fears quickly melted away the second he laid eyes on his sister. What an incredible gift to have been able to bring them into each others' lives. Seeing them together, my life found joy. 

And now, precious little one, my pregnancy with you, my last little miracle, is coming to an end. I am no longer fearful that I may make mistakes as a Momma--of course I will! But. I will learn from them and grow from them to be a better Momma for you. 

I am no longer scared of what it means to add another baby to our family. Your relationships with your siblings will be some of the most influential and special and loving and supportive of your life--trust me. I am lucky enough to have the best big brother and greatest little sisters on the planet. You see, I cannot imagine breathing without them. You and Banks and Raleigh are already so blessed to have one another, and I cannot begin to tell you how excited they are to meet you. We all are, in fact, because we simply adore you, the last piece of our family we have been waiting for and praying for and hoping for. 

And how very lucky we all are to have your Daddy in our lives--the best Daddy in the whole wide world. He loves you so much already and has big dreams for you, Baby Lu. And trust me when I tell you he will stop at nothing to help you make your own dreams come true. He is simply the best. 

So, my sweet baby, the time has come. We are ready for you. We are ready to see you, to kiss you, to hold you, to know you, to love you, with everything we've got. And yes, there will be chaos, a whole lot of chaos, as we adjust and search to find our footing as a family of five. But there will also be love. A whole lot of love. 

Rest up, Baby Lu. Tomorrow's your big day. And I simply can't wait. 

With All My Heart,


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: The Last One!!!!

MY LAST WEE ONE WEDNESDAY POST! MY LAST WEE ONE WEDNESDAY POST! I can't believe it! It's because Baby Lu will be born two days from today, when I am 39 weeks exactly. 

Baby Lu, our third miracle, who will complete our family of five, will be in my arms in just two days, on Friday, April 25th, 2014, and I cannot tell you how very much my heart soars to know that I am finally meeting our amazing blessing in just TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS!!!!! 

So. Here we go. My last Wee One Wednesday post, complete with comparison photos from my last days of having Banks and Raleigh in my belly. 

Size of the Baby: I had my last appointment for Baby Lu a week ago today. Despite measuring a week ahead during an appointment a few weeks prior, my belly was measuring about a week behind at last week's appointment; however, my doc believes this is because the baby is so low and was not concerned in the least. Baby Lu had a strong heart rate, in the 140s, and most of the appointment revolved around discussing pre-surgical prep. Ahhhh! As I was leaving, I shook his hand and smiled while saying, "See you in the OR!" Yay! estimates the baby to be around 6.8 pounds and 19.5 inches, about the size of a leek. First of all, this baby is bigger than that. Has to be! I will be shocked if I produce a 6-pound baby. Second of all, okay, seriously, I think there have been more veggie comparisons I DON'T know than I do. I'm not joking. I have no idea what a leek is. 

Symptoms: Oh, my poor aching back. And belly. Insomnia. Heartburn. Fatigue. You know, the third tri usual. Siiiiigh. Two more days...

Movement: This strong mover and shaker is kicking my arse, but I will truly, truly miss this feeling for the rest if my life. Two more days...

Sleep: Bleh. I wake up between 3-4 am. Get a snack. Lie for an hour or more and finally will myself to fall back asleep before getting up to get the day started. Naps are frequent. So is fatigue. Two more days... 

What I Miss: Emotional stability. Not having an exhausted, aching body. Being able to help my hub more around the house, with meal prep, and with the kids nightly routines. I am D.O.N.E. by dinner time. Two more days...

Cravings: Chocolate (hello, Easter candy!). Adult bevs. Raw oysters. Two more days...

The Belly:

And a few comparison pics: 

 Here I was at 38 weeks pregnant with Banks. I think it should come as no surprise that he weighed 9 pounds, 15 ounces. That belly was HUGE! 

Look at the difference when I was 39 weeks pregnant with Raleigh. We literally took this photo as we were heading to the hospital for her birth. She weighed a full 2 pounds less than Banks, which is probably why I look MUCH smaller here? 

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you so much, my dear family and friends, for following along on this pregnancy journey with me. Bringing children to this world is my biggest accomplishment and greatest blessing, and it has been so fun to document this very special time over the last nine months, especially with this being our last baby. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for all of the love and support we've been given, and I cannot wait to share the big news of whether a little boy or little girl will be joining our family in just TWO DAYS (For the record, the vote has pretty much been split down the middle in various, random polls I've taken of guesses of the sex of the baby). Stay tuned... :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

As I continue to grow in my faith and my relationship with Christ, I look more and more forward to Easter each year, to celebrating that He died on a cross for me and my sins and has risen. 

I teared up in church this morning as we sang loudly and soulfully, thinking of my babies in their church classes while I rubbed my belly, standing alongside the love of my life, feeling completely unworthy but so thankful for all that He has given us. 

We started our day with Easter baskets, a new coloring house to help keep two little someones busy in the coming weeks while Momma has her sleep-deprived hands full, and an egg hunt. 

We ate a delicious breakfast, sweetly made by my hub, and dressed up in our Easter best to head to church and celebrate the true meaning of today, one that does not involve eggs nor baskets nor coloring houses. We sang and praised and listened and learned, all the while standing alongside new friends in our packed church sanctuary. 

Adorable, pink seersucker, monogrammed bow tie by Palmetto Cuties. Check them out on Facebook!

Sweeter-than-sugar, ruffle skirt and shirt combo by Goat & Lulu. Check them out on etsy!

And then we headed home to feast as a family of four on a yummy Easter meal, Nana's roast recipe, made with love by my hub, and talked about Jesus and resurrection and how differently life will look for our family in just a few days.

It's safe to say I am feeling extremely blessed. And grateful. And happy. And fulfilled. 

Happy Easter indeed. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five On Friday: Easter Edition

Hello, Hello! Back again for another link-up for "Five On Friday," possibly my last for a little while since I'll be a little *busier* than usual starting next Friday. Anywho. Onward. Five random tidbits from the week. 


This entire post could alternatively be entitled, "Pre-baby lasts." Knowing Baby Lu's birth is just ONE WEEK away, I've been trying to squeeze in lots of "lasts" before life gets crazy busy for awhile. For example, I am having one last hair cut and color next week. I'm getting one last manicure and pedicure next week, too. I'll have my last Life Group on Monday night before the baby comes, etc. But. There were two particular "lasts" that I was so blessed to have this week that I thought I mention (And for the record, yes, I realize I'm not dying. I am just anticipating exhaustion, chaos, and limited "me time" over the next few months; hence the over-dramatic use of the word "last"). ;) First, I was treated to a surprise Girl's Night Out dinner earlier this week, and it was so, so fun! We had a delicious meal (including a virgin margarita for this momma!), lots of entertaining convo, and plenty of laughs. It was such a fun night, and we are already planning on many, many more in the months to come. Thanks so much girls--love y'all!

The other "last" that I love, love, loved having this week was one last pre-baby date night with my hub. We went out for another scrumptious meal and followed up with ice cream and a sunset. We made it a point to focus on each other, talk any and everything BUT kids (our date night rule), and just enjoy each other's company. It was, in a word, fantastic. 

This week was Banks' Spring Break, which meant lots of playtime with both of my kiddos all week, which also translates to tired, ultra-pregnant Momma by today! Still, though, we were able to squeeze in lots of fun, including an awesome playdate with friends at a local rec center at the beginning of the week and a super cool "Pancakes and Pajamas" morning for Banks and his neighborhood buddies at an event held within our 'hood yesterday. All in all, I think our Spring Break stay-cation was a success!

Is it just me or is it absolutely crazy that Easter is this weekend?! Just because we were homebound this week due to the aforementioned Spring Break + uber-pregnant Momma status did NOT mean we weren't going to sneak in some Easter fun! Enter...
  • A sidewalk chalk Easter color hopping game, one that both Banks and Raleigh loved! Think musical chairs-esque fun in the sun, which translates to a perfect excuse to be outside with my kiddos while they run around and play our game while Momma sits and directs the whole event. Score!

  • Absolutely yummy, homemade Easter egg bark, whose recipe is super simple and can be found here. 

  • Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of Easter egg hunt practice, again allowing this Momma to supervise from a seated position while the kiddos took turns hiding and finding the eggs around the playroom and toy closet over and over and over again. For the win! 

  • Peep s'mores. Need I say more?!

And finally, we'll be dyeing our Easter eggs later today so that they'll be ready and waiting for the Easter Bunny to hide on Sunday. All in all, lots of egg-cellent, Easter-iffic events 'round these parts. ;)

Even though it's our last weekend before Baby Lu arrives, it's going to be a busy one! I am headed to a baby shower for my baby sister in Columbia tomorrow (Baby Lu...don't even think about trying to make an early debut, you hear me?!), we'll be celebrating Easter as a family on Sunday, and then we'll likely try to squeeze in a Costco trip to stock up on snacks and supplies to make the next few weeks easier as we adjust to life as a family of five. Whew! Regardless, it should make for a full but festive weekend! 

And with that, I say HAPPY EASTER to all. May your weekend be filled with reminders of His love, sacrifice, and blessings; lots of fun treats for your kiddos; adorable Easter-outfitted little ones (can't wait to see all the beautiful kiddos out there in their Easter finest); successful Easter egg hunts; and delicious Easter eatin'. Have a good one!